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Jorge D. Garcia v. James A. Yates

August 23, 2011

JORGE D. GARCIA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES A. YATES, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE OCTOBER 3, 2011

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 27, 2009, Plaintiff Jorge D. Garcia, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a civil claim in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Fresno. (ECF No. 1). Defendants removed the matter to this Court on the grounds that the claims arise under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Id.) Plaintiff has consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. (ECF No. 5). Plaintiff's Complaint is before the Court for screening.

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous, malicious," or that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the 'deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949-50.

III. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

James A. Yates, Warden, Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP), Dr. F. Igbinoza, Chief Medical Officer, PVSP, and ten Jon Does are named defendants in this action.

Plaintiff alleges the following:

Defendants were made aware by experts that PVSP staff and inmates had contracted Valley Fever. (Compl. at 6). Plaintiff requested and was denied transfer to a prison where the disease was not endemic. (Id. at 5). Defendants exhibited deliberate indifference by exposing Plaintiff to an environment prone to the contraction of Valley Fever. (Id.) Plaintiff did contract Valley Fever. (Id. at 7). Defendants propagated an unwritten policy that prevented prisoners infected with Valley Fever from being transferred. (Id.) The exposure itself constituted a denial of adequate medical care. (Id. at 5). "Plaintiff [was] . . . denied adequate medical treatment for the symptoms of blood-tinged sputum, chest pains, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, excessive sweating, muscle stiffness, headaches, loss of appetite, night sweats, weight loss, chills, cough, fever, wheezing, and change in mental status . . . ." (Id.) Plaintiff's immune system was damaged because he was prescribed Difluca for a period in excess of the medication's ninety day limit. (Id. at 7). His many administrative appeals regarding medical care were deliberately ignored. Plaintiff contends that the aforementioned circumstances violated his Eighth Amendment rights. The Court discerns three separate grounds for the alleged Eighth ...


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